Leech Lake Sustainability Office Introduces Electric Vehicle Ride & Drive Show
As the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe celebrates their 5th annual Leech Lake Days, they also recognize the work done to protect the environment.
One way is by presenting their first annual Electric Vehicle Ride & Drive show for the community. Participants not only had the chance to talk with electric car owners but also take a turn in the driver’s seat. The event was a way to introduce the community to electric vehicles.
Those with the Leech Lake Band also looked to show a new sustainability initiative currently being worked on to introduce charging stations to more secluded areas of the reservation.
“We want to make sure that people living in our more rural communities see [electric vehicles] as an option for them, too,” said Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Sustainability Coordinator Eugene Strowbridge. “And, additionally, we want to make sure that once more EV adoption happens and once it gets a little more mainstream, the reservation isn’t going to become a dumping ground for all the internal combustion engines. We want to get ahead of that and make sure that it’s not an environmental justice issue that we have to deal with in the future.”
“Right now, we have about 30,000 or so electric vehicles registered in Minnesota. It’s not a large percentage, but it’s a bigger and bigger percentage of the sales each year,” explained Clean Energy Research Teams (CERTs) Co-Director Diana McKeown when asked about the rise in EV car sales. “Of the total fleet, if you will, in Minnesota it’s a small percentage. But…as a percentage each year of new vehicles being purchased, it’s bigger and bigger.”
The EV show also had other modes of transportation on display, such as electric bikes and scooters. The Great Plains Institute also assisted in organizing the event.